Although car accidents involving pedestrians can be a frightening experience, it happens more frequently than one would think.
In 2006, car accidents involving pedestrians resulted in injury to over 60,000 individuals, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle traveling at least 30 miles per hour may suffer serious injuries, and in some cases, may even die. In fact, an automobile traveling at around ten miles per hour is capable of seriously disabling a pedestrian.
The Legal Responsibility of the Driver
It is essential for drivers to be aware of the things to do whenever they find themselves in an accident involving a pedestrian. The legal responsibility of drivers can be reduced if they maintain their composure and talk to the appropriate persons. It is also essential for drivers to become aware of the fundamental fault determination rules and the compensation required for damage and injuries. The most important thing they should know is how to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
Who Is Liable For the Accident?
Whenever a pedestrian is hit by an automobile, the most important thing to know is who is responsible for the accident. The law of negligence will ascertain who is liable for the accident. A person is considered to be negligent if he or she does not apply a suitable amount of care in certain situations. However, in some cases, the pedestrian and driver can be both guilty of negligence. For instance, a pedestrian may not cross in the appropriate pedestrian lane. At the same time, the driver may be driving beyond the approved speed limit. Each state has its own method of handling this situation.
The “pure contributory negligence” statute is followed by a number of states. Pedestrians, whose actions may have played a factor in the accident even at a minimal degree, cannot claim damages from the driver and insurance company of the driver. The insurance company of the pedestrian cannot claim damages as well. On the other hand, a “comparative fault” statute is followed by other states. Pedestrians can claim damages even though their actions contributed to the accident.
Results of the Insurance Company Investigation and the Police Report
In order to establish liability, statements will be taken by the police from the pedestrian, the driver, and witnesses to the accident. A definite conclusion may be established by the authorities at the scene of the accident or a thorough investigation may be conducted to determine who is responsible for the accident.
Liability for the accident will be based on the police report, which shows the view of the authorities on who is responsible for the accident. However, insurance firms may question the result of the investigation. An insurance adjuster will be sent by the company to the accident site or it may evaluate the damage incurred by the persons and property immediately after the accident. You should immediately hire a car accident lawyer if you think your liability in the accident is unfair.
If you are injured by a negligent driver, it is important that you immediately consult an experienced St Louis car accident lawyer. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.